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Ryan competed in his fourth Ironman distance race this past Saturday! With the race behind us the bulk training is done and he has the rest of the year off to recover. Leading up to an endurance event like an Ironman it takes time, energy and effort from the athlete to be able to compete. It also takes support from the spouse. And although as the spouse of the athlete we often times look forward to the race because we know there will be less training and more quality time afterwards I have to tell you it is not over on race day. It is just as important to support our athletes after the event as it is before the event! We need to make sure they recover well also!
Here are 5 ways you can support your endurance athlete after the race:
1) Prepare some healthy snacks- After an Ironman Ryan is pretty dehydrated. To the extent that he gets iv’s after the race. This then makes it hard for Ryan to eat and drink. Having cold fruits like watermelon and grapes are helpful. Also, he perfers smoothies so having the items he needs for that is helpful too. Even though they may not feel like eating they need to consume some nutritious calories after a long day of gels and sugary drinks.
2) Have ice ready- Ice baths are one of the best kind of recoveries. I hate them, but love them. They were a must during my marathon training. The cold is torture, but the way it impacts recovery is amazing! Have some ice in the freezer ready for them or pick some up on the way home.
3) Offer a massage- As you can imagine there are a lot of muscles that are sore after 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. Keep in mind a massage after an Ironman may be require different amounts of pressure than a massage you would give after a stressful day at work.
4) Give encouraging words- After anywhere from a 10-17 hour day your athlete is going to have a lot on their mind from the day. They may be replaying scenes or second guessing their strategies. This is the perfect time to tell them post race encouraging words.
5) Let them sleep- If your man is anything like mine after the race he for sure has about a thousand things going through his mind so it is hard for him to get to sleep right away. So after a tremendously long and exhausting day he can’t even get to sleep. Getting rest is very important for the recovery process so do what you can to allow him to sleep in or take a nap.
Just when you thought race day brought you some relief of all the training must do’s! I know the feeling! But hanging in there to support your Ironman for a few days after the event will prove to be worth it. We have to have our athletes recover well and stay healthy!
What is another way you support your athlete post race?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,